5/5 STARS - SPOILERS
Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.
When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.
I received a copy of this novel from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review – all thoughts are my own.
This will not be my standard review – why? – I just have so many feelings that I need to get them all out there!
Okay, so where do I even begin... Kristoff has left me utterly speechless and in absolute of awe of him. When I read Nevernight (Book 1) in the Nevernight Chronicles, I honestly couldn’t comprehend how Kristoff would be able to top it – but I can tell you right now he did – and he didn’t just top it with a cherry, he topped it with a cherry, whipped cream, sprinkles and hot fudge! Yep, I went there with a dessert metaphor!
Godsgrave is an absolute masterpiece, Kristoff’s writing is a symphony of death; it’s beautiful, dark, empowering, and leaves you absolutely freaking speechless (albeit I was swearing at the final page).
We were reunited with our favourite lady; Mia Corvere and her shadows, Mister Kindly and Eclipse. The banter between Mister Kindly and Eclipse is honestly a highlight of the book, and I love their encounters. Returning characters from the first book were also present – some to my delight, others not so much.
I have to admit, I had no idea what Kristoff had in store for us with Mia and her character growth; however, my expectations were exceeded and then some! I loved the relationship that developed between Mia and Ashlinn – Mia embracing her sexuality, then exploring it to find some semblance of happiness (for however long it lasts), despite her insane plan to get revenge for her brother and parents’ deaths.
Godsgrave begins approximately 6 months after the events of Nevernight and right from the opening line you are pulled back into the bloody world that is the Nevernight Chronicles. Let me tell you, it was absolutely satisfying to be back in this world. With flashbacks occurring throughout the first part of the book, you’re given insight as to how Mia spent her time after Nevernight ended, and how she ended up where she is now – a “slave” on her way to be sold into the Gladiator world.
When I first found out/realised Mia was going to become a Gladiator, I was estatic – we would see her in all her bloody glory and Kristoff did not disappoint fans at all. It was a glorious battle and it was beautiful.
The plot flowed quite well, with flashbacks at the start of the novel as mentioned above. I’m loving the footnotes throughout that provide you with background information on events/ people etc. They’re very informative and also quite hilarious at times.
The plot twists in the novel were mind-blowing! I did NOT see the ending at ALL!!! I thought we had lost Mia to the darkness of her search for vengeance – I honestly thought she had killed all the Gladiators she had trained with in the execution bout – but alas! They were ALIVE!!!! Holy smokes, I was swearing by this stage.
Little did I know that Kristoff was not done with the twists: Mia’s brother was alive (she had rescued him); Scaeva was in league with the Red Church AND was not DEAD! Let alone the fact that he is actually Mia’s father?! WHAT?! I know, right? And then to top it off… THE FINAL PAGE – THE FINAL LINE – TRIC IS ALIVE – well sort of alive? Dead but not? Something else? I finished the final page spluttering curse words and crying and yelling at Jay from my home in Adelaide “WHY JAY WHY – HOW COULD YOU END IT LIKE THIS?!”.
I have so many unanswered questions, SO MANY! I honestly don’t know how I am going to survive the wait for the third and final book, let alone how am I going to survive it when it comes out. However, we all know the final book is going to be about DEATH. Nevernight; Birth – Godsgrave; Life – Book3; Death.
And this concludes my review. I am dead, I am still speechless, and yet I hug the book every day.What have you done to me, Jay!?